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Chateau Mělník

GPS: 50°21'2.887", 14°28'21.911"

This Renaissance chateau towers over the town on a high hill close to the confluence of the Vltava and Labe rivers and it grew up by reconstructing a former Gothic castle in the half of the 16th. century. The chateau and the surrounding vineyards are up to the present days in the property of the Lobkowicz family who have been the owners of the chateau since the 18th. century. The chateau´s interiors are well furnished with original furniture and there is also an interesting collection of old maps. In three floors of the chateau´s cellars we can find wine making facilities and decorated wooden barrels. There is a beuatiful view from the chateau on the confluence of the rivers Labe and Vltava.

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Since Princess Ludmilla, who was born in Melnik, the Castle has become the residence of the queen widows of Bohemia. Under Emperor Charles IV Melnik became a royal city.His last wife had the chapel of the Castle with gothic vaults built. The last queen who resided in Melnik, was the wife of Jiri Podebrad. In the following centuries the Estate of Melnik has been pledged to different noble families. In 1542 the Castle has been reconstructed in Renaissance Style and the two arcades richly decorated with sgrafitto patterning have been added. During the Thirty Years War, the Castle was abandonned. In the year 1646 Count Czernin started a major reconstruction and had the Early Barroque southern wing added. The Count purchased the Melnik Estate form the Emperor. The heiress of the Czernin family, Countess Ludmilla Czernin, married in 1753 Prince August Anton Lobkowicz. With the exception of the Second World War and the 40 years of communist rule, Melnik Castle remained in the family. The present owner Jiří Lobkowicz is renovating the Castle since 1992.

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